I need one.
Seriously though, I could probably write those three words then post some pics and this writeup would be over. I realize there are very few bolt rifle reviews posted to this site, the first of which being the Savage Axis Rifle Review which ironically was our first gun review ever last winter. This rifle definitely doesn’t need our approval or any more press than it’s already getting, considering the fact that it got 2011 Rifle of the Year from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence.
Ruger’s primary marketing phrase/scheme for this particular gun has been:
“the one rifle to have if you could only have one.”
Dumb? Maybe. Arguably true? Maybe. Completely false? Doubtful.
The truth is there is a lot to like about bolt action rifles in general. They’re a repeating firearm, meaning even though they require manual operation to eject then re chamber another round, much like a lever gun the user can learn to operate the action quickly, efficiently and in the case of a bolt gun, accurately. While today I primarily rely on single shots (Thompson Center Encore system for versatility/barrel swapping) and semi-auto firearms both for hunting and self defense, I grew up and learned how to be proficient with a rifle by way of a bolt gun… a post 1964 Winchest Model 70 in 300 Win Mag to be exact.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is sort of an amalgamation of Ruger’s classic “MINI” (14/30) series rifles, the 10/22, and their M7 7 series of bolt action rifles. There’s a 10 round detachable box magazine (now available in polymer configuration), a birdcage flash hider, a Mauser style action and claw type shell extractor on the bolt, picatinny rail forward of the action and boasts a svelte weight of 7 pounds. The overall length is 38″ with a 16.5 inch barrel which is equal to that of an AR type carbine or even my TC Encore in 280 Improved!
Synonyms of “a-mal-ga-ma-tion”: Consolidation, Combination, Blend, Union, Fusion, Joining.
Some may ask what the “SCOUT” feature or brand is that comes along with this rifle. The primary reference is one of a rifle that goes everywhere with the user. It’s a multi-purpose of all purposes type gun. But the most common distinguishing factor of a scout rifle today is the forward mounted rail between the front sight and the rifle’s action, whether it be a lever action or bolt action. The placement of the scope allows the shooter to mount a scout specific scope with extended “EYE RELIEF” which offers versatile magnification but most importantly lets the user keep both eyes open when shooting making it a quick shooter, easier to track with moving targets or find multiple targets more quickly.
I’m still not positive it would be the ONLY gun I’d carry if I could only have one rifle, as of right now I think I’d still be leaning on my AK for that, BUT with all that into consideration, I still want one.
What do you think? Which gun would you choose to have by your side if you could have JUST ONE?
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